Ministry of Education renews licenses for a private university
Complainee: Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MES)
Complaint in brief: A private higher education institution complained to the Business Ombudsman Council that the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine had prematurely revoked its licenses for all levels of education, thus suspending its possibility of any further educational activities, including providing the 2020/2021 graduates with the degree documents. After all, despite having appealed the MES’s decision on licenses revocation in court and received the relevant secure measures tin the form of suspension of the latter, MES not only entered information about revocation of the complainant's licenses in the License Register of the Subjects to Educational Activities in the Field of Higher Education, but also deleted the information about the establishment in the Register of Educational Institutions (EDEBO). This, in turn, made it impossible for the University to perform for its students such actions as issuance of diplomas and transfer of students to other higher education institutions.
It should be noted that the University has been training specialists in various fields since 1992. However, due to the situation described above, which occurred in the spring of 2021, rumors began to spread among students that they would not be able to obtain their diplomas or be admitted to subsequent years of study. Meanwhile, timely challenging of the decision on licenses revocation in court as well as obtaining the measures to secure the lawsuit, enabled the University to duly continue its work. However, due to the premature application of consequences of the contested decision by the MES, the private university turned to the BOC for help.
Actions taken: The Council’s team of investigators promptly examined the circumstances of the case and found the complaint to be substantiated. The BOC drew the MES’s attention to signs of the University’s right violation to continue its educational activities in the view of timely appeal against the MES’s decision on licenses revocation and suspension of its validity in court. Thus, the Council recommended that the MES immediately updates information in the License Register on the current status of the complainant's licenses, as well as renews the information about the University in EDEBO.
Result achieved: MES followed the Council’s recommendations and renewed/updated the information about the complainant in both EDEBO and the License Register. As a result, the University provided more than 300 graduates of 2020/2021 with the degree documents. The complainant thanked the BOC team for its efforts: “The administration and staff of our university express their sincere appreciation and deep gratitude to the Business Ombudsman Council for the timely facilitation and assistance on the case and its solution. We wish you strength, creative inspiration and success in your work, which is vital for Ukrainian society”. The case was successfully closed within a month of investigation. The University continues its activities while the issue of legality of the MES`s decision on licenses revocation is being reviewed by an administrative court.